Looking to escape the hustle and bustle of London for an hour? Then the Lunchtime Recitals at St. James’s Piccadilly might be the place to go. Situated in the heart of London, the concerts attract a god mixture of city workers, church patrons, passers by, and music lovers.

As a functioning church, the choice of venue proves to be a mixed blessing. Equipped with brilliant acoustics, the venue manages to carry the piece across the hall perfectly, while at the same time miraculously blocking out almost all outside noise. Its powerful acoustics prove to be the venue’s greatest downfall: every little fidget or cough is clearly audible to the entire hall. Furthermore, the seats are nothing more than wooden pews, which can prove hard to sit comfortably on for the hour-long performances.

…musicians hold multiple qualifications from distinguished conservatories and institutions.

The performers are of the highest calibre; although young, they are well seasoned. The majority of the musicians hold multiple qualifications from distinguished conservatories and institutions. Many of them have also toured extensively through Europe and beyond. Upcoming performances to look out for include Michael L Roberts Trio on 17 June – a highly recommended jazz trio – as well as a featured selection of some of the Royal College of Music’s students on 22 June.

Overall, the experience of the Lunchtime Recitals can be described as uneven: the atmosphere can be a bit stuffy, and the location has its less-than-ideal features. However, when the music starts the room is transformed into a tranquil oasis where music transcends all.

Lunchtime Recitals at St James’s Piccadilly run every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, until June 29, 2011. Entrance is free, although a donation of £3.50 is suggested.

Check out what’s going on this month.

Image courtesy of Jorge Franganillo


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